Friday, November 14, 2008

Following The Trail Of Toxic E-Waste

60 Minutes Follows America's Toxic Electronic Waste As It Is Illegally Shipped To Become China's Dirty Secret

Do you know where your e-waste is going?

Hi, don't know how many of you saw 60 Minutes last Sunday on the horrors of exporting e-waste and the harm it does to people and the environment, but my parent company, Premier Farnell, has started an awareness initiative to address this massive horror that impacts everyone.

The bottom line is that it is cheaper to export to countries such as India, and China than to properly recycle the waste in the US.

Among the dangers of what is called "backyard ecycling " is that, in order to extract valuable metals in countries such as India, China and Africa, children and adults heat electronic waste over open fires and the strip of cables and PCBs in acid baths is commonplace. This can release arsenic, chromium, lead, mercury and other toxins directly into the atmosphere, with significant impact on both the health of those recycling the waste and the local environment. Research has shown that regular handling of electronic waste and inhalation of toxic fumes can result in damage to the brain, the nervous system, the lungs and kidneys and is also linked to certain types of cancer.

Janice Fleisher

Janice Fleisher

PR/Communications at Newark